Mirama Hills one-stop border post opens

Monday July 6 2015

Government officials for Uganda and Rwanda tour the Mirama Hills-Kagitumba one-stop border post facility on July 3, 2015. PHOTO | RAJAB MUKOMBOZI

Government officials for Uganda and Rwanda tour the Mirama Hills-Kagitumba one-stop border post facility on July 3, 2015. PHOTO | RAJAB MUKOMBOZI 

By Rajab Mukombozi

The Mirama Hills-Kagitumba one-stop border post has been opened to facilitate fast movement of goods and traders between Uganda and Rwanda.

The initiative, part of the East Africa Trade and Transportation Facilitation Project, aims at modernising and strengthening Customs administration and border control agencies in the region to reduce non-tariff costs on trade and smuggling at the border.

Officiating the opening of the facility last Friday, Uganda's Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Mr Alex Okello, said traders were being strained by delayed clearance that at times took a day or two at either side of the border.

He said the delay would at times breed corruption, besides smuggling as impatient traders tried to find the fastest means to cross the border.

“...the cost of doing business will come down, there will be easy coordination which will ensure transparency,” said Mr Okello.

The facility worth $7.8 million has among others, Customs and immigration blocks, warehouse building, clearing agents block, goods inspection and verification block and a police station.

TradeMark East Africa, funders of the project, handed over the facility to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). TradeMark is also funding 13 similar projects in the East African countries, four of which are in Uganda.

URA's Customs commissioner Mr Dickson Kateshumba said the border post will have a 24-hour manpower to see that the objectives of putting up the facility are achieved.

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